Travel

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Western & Southern Financial Group Travel Reimbursement Policy – Hip or Knee Replacement

Western & Southern Financial Group provides reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses to access The Christ Hospital's (TCH) Center of Excellence (COE) for total hip or knee replacement.  The program covers reasonable travel related expenses for the patient and one traveling companion within a 1,000 mile radius from the Cincinnati campus (minimum of 100 miles).  Expenses are covered for travel to and from Cincinnati directly related to the actual procedure being performed.  There is a $2,000 lifetime maximum per covered individual for each COE hip or knee replacement procedure.


Advance Approval


Knee and hip replacement procedures and related services covered under this program, like all knee and hip replacements, must be approved by the Western & Southern Benefits Department prior to both surgery and the subsequent submission of expenses for travel and lodging.  Please contact the Benefits Department at 513-629-1400 or 1-800-333-1455 to start the pre-approval process. 


Covered Expenses


Expenses for travel to/from the Center of Excellence are eligible for reimbursement provided the procedure meets COE guidelines as approved by the Benefits Department.  Once the procedure has been approved, travel arrangements should be coordinated through the Western & Southern Travel department by calling 513-629-1876 or emailing stephanie.marksberry@westernsouthern.com.

The following travel related expenses are covered for the patient and one traveling companion (must be age 18 or older) provided they are within a 1,000 mile radius from the Cincinnati campus (see covered states list).  Those living within a 100 mile radius from the Cincinnati campus are not eligible for reimbursement for travel related expenses under this program.


Transportation


Airfare

  • Round trip coach fare
  • Transportation to and from home/airport; private limousine service is not permitted.
  • Transportation to and from the airport/COE; private limousine service is not permitted.

Personal or rental car in lieu of airfare

  • Mileage to and from the Center of Excellence (reimbursed at the standard medical mileage rate of 18 cents per mile in 2018), or
  • Expenses for a mid-sized rental car to and from the Center of Excellence
  • Parking and tolls

Meals

  • Meal allowances permitted per person per day (including tax and 15% tip) for both the patient and traveling companion:
    • Breakfast             $20
    • Lunch                   $15
    • Dinner                  $40

 

Lodging

  • Lodging should be coordinated through the Western & Southern Travel department.
  • Covered expenses for lodging include the cost of a hotel room, taxes and parking (if applicable).

Please note that all submitted travel, lodging and meals are included in the $2,000 maximum. Expenses beyond those listed above will not be reimbursed (e.g., telephone, in-room movies, entertainment, etc.).


Expense Forms

  • Original, unaltered receipts must be attached to the completed expense form.
  • Expenses for the patient and traveling companion must be separately notated for tax purposes.
  • The Company will reimburse the Western & Southern employee by check.

 

Reimbursement and Taxes


Certain travel related expenses are considered by the IRS to be compensation, and therefore will be taxable and added to the associate's income for federal income tax purposes as follows:

  • Meals outside the hospital for both the associate and companion.
  • Lodging outside the hospital for both the associate and companion, except for $50 per person per day.

 

The following travel related expenses are not included in income for federal income tax purposes:

  • If the associate and companion travel by car:
    1. Parking fees and tolls; and either:
      • Actual out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., cost of gas and oil); or
      • The standard medical mileage rate (18 cents per mile in 2018)
    2. If the associate and companion travel by plane, bus or rental car, the cost of the plane fare, bus fare or rental charge

Western & Southern reserves the right to audit submitted expenses and disciplinary action may be taken if expenses are deemed illegitimate. If you have any questions related to the Centers of Excellence travel and lodging benefit, please contact the Benefits Department at 513-629-1400 or 1-800-333-1455, or email benefits@westernsouthern.com.